We regularly see a large number of bearded dragon basking questions being asked. For this reason, we have decided to take the 24 most popular basking questions and answer them in one article.

As you scroll through the post, you will see the most frequently asked bearded dragon basking questions answered in a straightforward and practical way.

This should help you understand more about basking and give you more clarity around the behavior.

Ok, let’s start answering those basking questions…

Bearded Dragon Basking: Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do Bearded Dragons Bask?

The reason Bearded Dragon’s bask is that they are an ectothermic species.  As such, they need to find external sources of heat to function. This is vital for digestion, respiration, growth, and development. Basking is a way to collect heat energy quickly and efficiently.

An ectotherm also called “cold-blooded”, is an animal that cannot internally regulate its body temperature like endotherms (like us humans!). 

Ectotherms will use their behavior to manage their temperature. Seeking warmth and sunshine when trying to raise their temperature and seeking cool and shade to lower temperature. 

This evolved as a survival strategy aiming to reduce energy expenditure as metabolism runs significantly slower for ectos than it does for endos. 

This means they require a lot less food to survive and can adjust their metabolism to match the available resources in their environment.

Basking is vital to the health of your Bearded Dragons as it must maintain the correct body temperature to be able to perform all life functions such as digesting and absorbing food and growth and development. 

Basking Bearded Dragons will use the energy from heat sources in their environment to power their metabolism. 

Bearded Dragon’s utilize this in the wild to survive in the extreme and changing temperatures in their desert environment. 

They slow right down during the cool nights and take advantage of the heat of the hot sun during the day to fuel themselves.

Think of basking as recharging batteries to power themselves for the rest of its activities!

Do Bearded Dragons Need A Basking Light?

Bearded Dragons in captivity require a basking light in their environment. A basking light is important because basking behaviors involve high temperature and direct intense heat that is not otherwise available in an enclosure. Basking temperatures should be between 95-100°F. 

This temperature should not be through the whole enclosure, but just in one area used for basking. The way to achieve this direct heat is using a basking lamp, not a general heat source that will heat all of the space.

We have created a guide that shares our top 9 bearded dragon basking lamps and you can check out the guide here…

If you are in a rush then you can check out one of our favorite basking bulbs here…

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Bearded Dragons need to have multiple different temperatures within their home, a gradient of heat is best so that your Bearded Dragon can choose where it wants to be and position itself in the optimal temperature depending on its current needs. 

Bearded Dragons are great self-regulators and providing them with the correct basking spot with a lamp allows them to express these natural behaviors.

If you have a deep understanding of how your enclosure should be set up then your Bearded Dragon will take care of itself! As an ectotherm, all behaviors are driven by instincts to complete a purpose. 

This is an excellent energy-saving tactic in the wild. Utilizing a basking lamp at one end of your enclosure will create a space that reaches the right basking temperatures and when your beardie feels the urge to bask it will be able to exercise free will to find that lovely warm spot. 

When it has achieved its purpose in basking it will then be able to move away to a cooler spot.

Do Bearded Dragons Bask Every Day?

Bearded Dragons need to bask to metabolize and function correctly. As such, they should be basking every day. Basking is important for digestion so if a Bearded Dragon is not eating then it may not bask. 

The sun does not shine every single day in the deserts where wild Bearded Dragons reside so it is not completely unnatural if a Bearded Dragon does not bask every day. 

Wild beardies also would not be getting a consistent and routine supply of food as they would as a pet.

If your Bearded Dragon is regularly eating, then it will bask daily to power the metabolism required to digest its meals. 

Without proper basking, it may cause the food to become impacted in the gut of your beardie.

As reptile keepers, we often speak of providing the most natural environment for our Bearded Dragons to thrive in. But naturally, in the wild, Bearded Dragons will face a lot more variables and challenges such as cloudy days and lack of food. 

In captivity, it is our duty of care to provide consistent food and a basking lamp daily so your beardie has the option to engage in natural behaviors.

Your Bearded Dragon will choose to take advantage of the heat and bask daily. 

If you are for some reason unable to provide a basking lamp, such as a loss of power or a blown bulb, this is okay for short periods as long as the ambient temperature remains within range.

Make sure not to feed your beardie in these times as if food is ingested but basking is unavailable then food will not be digested and could cause some serious issues.

Do Bearded Dragons Like Basking?

The basking behavior of Bearded Dragons is survival-based as it is needed for its basic life functions. Basking is likely enjoyable for Bearded Dragons as it fulfills their needs and a satisfied reptile will feel safe, comfortable, and secure in its environment.

Reptiles for the most part are simple creatures. They preserve their energy and are driven by survival instincts. 

It’s hard to speculate on the concept of enjoyment and emotions for a Bearded Dragon but we can assume that when your beardie has all of its needs met, it will find contentment in its life.

Since basking is so important to your Bearded Dragon, it will likely enjoy the moments it gets to spend under its lamp just as we might feel when we sunbathe at the beach.

Basking allows your beardie to be vulnerable as basking occurs in open spaces where sunlight will be most abundant. In the wild, being in wide-open areas is dangerous as it exposes them to predators.

Basking behaviors in captivity signify a beardie that feels safe and happy in its environment.

Recommended Reading: 17 Fun Toys & Activities to Keep Your Bearded Dragon Happy And Healthy

Can A Bearded Dragon Bask Too Much?

Bearded Dragons are masters at self-regulation so will bask as much as required. If they are unable to get away or do not move away from their basking lamp they can run the risk of basking too much. Too much basking will cause over-heating resulting in loss of function and dehydration.

The key to avoiding over-basking is to create a perfect environment for your Bearded Dragon. 

This involves creating a gradient of heat. Your basking spot should be on one end of the enclosure and the other end should be a cool spot. 

This way your beardie can move away to the cooler area when it has basked enough.

Bearded Dragons will often bask all day long, this is fine! The sun can shine all day long in their natural habitat and they will often be out enjoying the heat as long as they have the option to move away if they need. 

In captivity, they often have less activity than their wild counterparts as they are provided with all their needs so it is common for them to use this free time basking.

If you maintain a regular day and night cycle, where the basking lamp is turned off at night then your Bearded Dragon is unlikely to bask too much. 

The lamp should be available 10 – 14 hours a day, depending on the season.

If you are concerned your Bearded Dragon is basking too much check your bulb quality. Poor quality bulbs emit less heat and your beardie may be searching for more than it is receiving. 

Bulb quality also diminishes over time so regularly check and change your bulbs.

How Can You Tell If Your Bearded Dragon Is Too Hot?

You can tell if a Bearded Dragon is too hot by its behavior. When its body temperature becomes too high you may see your Bearded Dragon gaping, panting, glass surfing, digging, or hiding. If your Bearded Dragon is overheating you will see lethargy, dizziness, and lack of appetite. 

A Bearded Dragon can’t explicitly tell you when something is wrong but a good keeper can observe behaviors to understand a beardies condition. 

Your Bearded Dragon may be too hot if you observe the following behaviors:

  • Gaping/panting – gaping is a common behavior for Bearded Dragons. It is a method of regulating body temperature. Opening of the mouth lets excess escape, much like sweating in humans. 

Gaping is usually not a behavior to be concerned about. If gaping is continuous, even in the cool area of the tank you may want to investigate further.

  • Glass surfing – glass surfing is when your Bearded Dragon attempts to scale the side of the tank, you may see them flopping around almost desperately against the glass. 

This is showing a sign of stress and is often associated with being too hot – they are trying to get away!

  • Hiding – if your Bearded Dragon rarely comes of its hide, it may indicate an overly hot environment as it is trying to find a cool spot away from the heat of the basking lamp.
  • Excess digging – digging is another natural behavior of Bearded Dragons. Its often used to help regulate body temperature, either to warm up on cool nights or cool down on hot days. 

Excess digging may be a sign of your beardie trying to escape an area that is too hot for it. Other reasons for digging include: searching for a hide, egg-laying, and preparing for brumation.

None of these behaviors on their own immediately mean your Bearded Dragon is too hot but observing a combination of these might indicate that the environment is too hot. 

Confirm this by using a thermometer to measure the temperature in various points of the enclosure.

How Hot Should A Bearded Dragon Basking Spot Be?

A Bearded Dragon’s basking spot should be between 95°-100°F (32°C – 38°C). This temperature matches the temperature wild Bearded Dragons in the Australian desert will get in the heat of a sunny day and will allow your Bearded Dragon to function correctly.

The below table will outline the temperatures you should be aiming for in your Bearded Dragon enclosure, including the basking spot.

Bearded Dragon Tank Temperature Guide

Bearded Dragon Temperature Guide
Basking Area 95°-100°F
Cool Spot 75°-80°F
Night 70°-75°F

The basking temperature is vital for Bearded Dragon’s as it will set their internal temperatures to the optimal range and allow their metabolism to run correctly and efficiently.

The metabolism is responsible for internal functions such as digestion, respiration, reproduction, growth, development, cell repair – basically everything! 

If the metabolism isn’t running correctly then there is a massive range of issues that can arise, many will ultimately be fatal.

How Many Watts Should A Bearded Dragon Basking Light Be?

The basking lamp wattage needed for a Bearded Dragon tank will depend on the size of the enclosure. A larger tank will need a light with more watts to efficiently create a basking spot and a smaller tank will require a lamp with fewer watts. A 100-watt bulb is recommended for a 40-gallon tank.

Watts is a unit of power used to describe the output of electrical appliances and lighting bulbs. The higher the watts of a basking light bulb equals the higher the heat output.

The required wattage of a basking bulb in your Bearded Dragon enclosure will depend on a few different factors such as the size of the tank and the distance between the lamp and the basking spot.

Generally, a 100-watt bulb is recommended by most keepers for a tank approximately 40 gallons in size.

 Anything more powerful in this space will cause the temperatures across the whole tank gradient to be too high and anything much lower will not reach ideal basking temperatures.

The temperature at the basking spot will also differ based on the distance between the spot and the lamp. 

How high or low you hang the bulb can alter this. If your bulb is fixed you can also adjust this by using various furnishings such as rocks and logs for your Bearded Dragon to utilize to find the perfect basking spot.

All bulbs, both heat, and UV will reduce in quality over time. The higher quality of the bulb, the longer it should last. 

It’s important to continue to test the bulb output with a thermometer and always have a spare bulb on hand in the case of a blown bulb.

It’s also important to note the color of the bulb you use. White lights are ideal as they emulate natural light and will not irritate your beardie as colored bulbs may. 

Recommended Reading: Cold Bearded Dragon (Signs, Causes & Solution)

Should I Turn My Bearded Dragon’s Heat Lamp Off At Night?

A Bearded Dragon’s heat lamp should be turned off at night to create a natural photoperiod (day-night cycle of light) and temperature variation. Natural photo periods encourage proper rest and biological function.

Heat lamps in your Bearded Dragon enclosure should be turned off at night to create a fluctuating temperature of day and night. This changing temperature should mimic natural variations that wild beardies experience. 

All animals take cues from their environment as to what they should be doing at the time whether that be resting or eating. They run on a biological clock, not a wristwatch!

When Bearded Dragons sense a lowering temperature alongside receding light it will send the signal to their brain to find a place to rest for the night. 

Rest is important to all creatures as it is a time to save energy and where most biological growth and repair will occur.

Think of your basking lamp as the sun. There is no sun at night in the Australian desert!

Many popular basking lamps are also light-emitting so turning them off is crucial to creating an environment for your Bearded Dragon to rest easily. They don’t like bright light when sleeping, just like us.

If your ambient temperature gets below 65-70°F at night then you should consider a non-light emitting lamp such as a ceramic heat lamp. Just ensure you are creating a lower night temperature than your daytime temps.

How Close To The Basking Light Should My Bearded Dragon Be?

How close your Bearded Dragon gets to the basking light will depend on the wattage of the bulb, the position of the lamp, and the set-up of the enclosure. 10-12 inches of space is ideal as it reduces the risk of injury from your Bearded Dragon getting too close to the bulb.

You should be aiming to position your basking lamp in such a way that it creates enough space between the lamp and basking spot for your Bearded Dragon to sit comfortably.

There is a risk of thermal burns if your Bearded Dragon is too close to the lamp, but it’s rare as beardies will generally move away if the basking area is hot enough to achieve this.

The distance of the light to the basking spot will vary depending on lamp wattage and placement. 

A higher wattage than the usual 100-watt bulb will need to be placed further away so the basking spot does not become too hot.

Bearded Dragons naturally like to use furniture to put themselves up high when basking so measure the space between this spot and the lamp rather than from the ground up.

10-12 inches is generally a good distance to keep especially if your UV lamp is positioned alongside the basking lamp as this is a good distance for optimal UV exposure, given the dissipation of UV through light.

The structure of your tank roof will also come into play. If the lamp is above mesh then you should account for the loss of heat through this. 

Placing your bulb directly in the enclosure will allow for the heat to travel without being disrupted or filtered.

It’s also vital that your lamps are hanging from above your Bearded Dragon and not on the side of the enclosure. 

Bearded Dragons have evolved awesome eyebrow ridges to protect their sensitive eyes from the heat and UV rays of the run. 

Lamps that are coming in sideways will directly affect the eyes and could result in an eye infection or thermal burns.

If you are worried your bearded dragon may be getting too hot, here’s a great post that shares what to do…

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Basking All Day?

When Bearded Dragon’s are provided with the perfect environment they will self-regulate the time they spend basking. It is no uncommon for them to bask all day. If they are basking too much or too little there is likely an issue with the enclosure set-up or feeding schedule. 

It is not uncommon for Bearded Dragon’s to spend long periods of the day basking. Captive beardies have significantly less work to do than their wild counterparts. 

In their downtime, they often prefer to be hanging out in the warmth. You should see them move or gape their mouths now and then to cool down for periods.

If your beardie remains unmoved from the basking spot you should use a thermometer to check the temperatures in the basking spot. 

Having a handheld digital thermometer is vital to ensure you are providing correct basking temperatures as well as an optimal cool spot.

Here’s the digital thermometer we recommend…

Zoo Med Repti Temp Digital Infrared Thermometer
  • Instant read thermometer gun
  • Easy to use, just point and click

Last update on 2023-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If they do not reach optimal temperatures your Bearded Dragon may be spending a lot more time here trying to get to the right temperature. 

If this is the case you need to reposition the lamp and/or furniture in the enclosure or look at getting a new or different bulb.

Bearded Dragon’s bask the most after a meal as they want to be in prime temperature for optimal digestion. 

Your beardies’ basking habits will differ depending on their feeding habits. The more food they are provided with the more they will bask. If you feed them at various times in the day they will also need an extended period to bask.

How Long Should Bearded Dragons Bask After Eating?

Bearded Dragons have a slow metabolism and will usually bask for at least a few hours after eating. This timeframe will vary based on what kind of food was ingested, how easy it is to digest and how much they consumed.

Your Bearded Dragons diet should be varied and balanced to provide the very best nutrition for a healthy dragon. 

Different insects and varying vegetables and fruit will have different chemical makeups that will require different periods to digest.

For example, mealworms have a denser exoskeleton than waxmoth larvae so will spend more time in the digestive tract being broken down so that your Bearded Dragon can get all the nutrients out of it. 

Apple with skin on will take longer to digest than a peeled apple.

The time your beardie spends basking after a meal will be reflective of the food it consumes.

It’s important that Bearded Dragons bask after eating or they run the risk of food becoming impacted in the digestive system or even rotting inside the gut causing a bacterial infection. 

If a basking spot is unavailable for whatever reason, refrain from feeding your beardie until it can bask.

Check out this awesome guide that shares all you need to know about impaction as an owner…

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Basking But Not Eating?

There can be a wide range of reasons behind a Bearded Dragon losing appetite. If your Bearded Dragon is basking but not eating it may be due to an incorrect basking temperature, lack of UV, incorrect diet or health-related such as impaction, parasites or simply shedding.

For most animals, a lack of appetite is usually an indication that something is not quite right.

If your Bearded Dragon is happily basking but not eating anything it may be due to husbandry factors such as:

  • Basking spot too cold – your beardie may be hanging out in its basking spot, but if temperatures aren’t correct for basking (95°-100°F) then they may not be able to consume and digest food. 
  • Lack of UV – your UV lamp is just as important as your basking lamp. UV is vital to the production of vitamin D to absorb vital nutrients, especially calcium. If your Bearded Dragon is lacking in UV it may not eat.
  • Disliked diet – if your beardie is displaying normal behaviors like basking but not eating it may simply be that it does not like the food you have provided for it! Mix up the food you offer and you will soon learn your Bearded Dragon’s preferences.

Basking but not eating could also be health-related:

  • Impaction – impaction occurs when food is unable to be digested and lodges inside the digestive tract. This is painful for your beardie and will result in loss of appetite. Gently feel around your Bearded Dragons’s abdomen for a hard mass. If you suspect impaction start treating it with a warm bath and consult your vet.
  • Shedding – adult Bearded Dragons are usually shed every few months to replace old and damaged skin. This process can be uncomfortable for them and sometimes cause them to lose appetite. Ensure your enclosure humidity levels are between 20-40%. Too dry will cause the shed to be more difficult. Warm baths can also help with difficult sheds.
  • Sickness – if none of the above circumstances apply to your Bearded Dragon and it is still not eating there may be a sickness or infection (such as parasites) going undetected. Contact your vet to investigate further.

Recommended Reading: Can I Hold My Bearded Dragon While Shedding?

How Long Should A Bearded Dragon Bask Before Eating?

The majority of a Bearded Dragon’s basking is done after eating but you may see some basking before eating. There is no set time for this, they just need to reach a temperature that will fuel the activity of eating.

Basking’s association with eating mostly revolves around the basking needed for the digestion of food after eating.

You may see your Bearded Dragon basking before eating. If they have just woken up or the lamp has just been turned on in the morning they likely need to bask to bring themselves up to a temperature that will allow to them be active.

To eat they need to be able to move to the food, reach out to it and then chew and swallow so a pre-meal bask will give them the energy boost required.

There’s no correct time for this basking period but it may depend on how you have presented the food. 

If you present your beardies insects with tweezers directly in front of them they expend little energy grabbing it so may not need a pre-bask. 

If you let some crickets loose in the enclosure with the intent of encouraging hunting then your dragon will need an extra “oomph” of energy to chase the bugs around and bask for a while longer before eating.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Not Basking After Eating?

If your Bearded Dragon does not bask after eating it may cause issues with digestion. Your Bearded Dragon may not bask after eating if the basking spot is incorrect, your bulbs are wrong or it isn’t comfortable in the basking spot.

Basking is essential for proper digestion in Bearded Dragons so naturally, if your beardie doesn’t bask after eating it can be concerning. 

Your Bearded Dragon may not bask if:

  • Incorrect basking temperature – if the basking spot is far too hot then your Bearded Dragon will not want to sit there. If the basking spot is too cold then it will search for the required heat for digestion elsewhere. Keep the basking spot between 95°-100°F.
  • Bulb type and placement – your basking bulbs should emit white light. Colored lights like red and blue might irritate your Bearded Dragon and stop it from basking correctly. In addition, if your UV light is coming from the side and not from above it will irritate your beardies eyes, thus is may avoid the basking spot.
  • Uncomfortable basking spot – your Bearded Dragon may not like the furniture you’ve provided under its basking lamp. Test this to find out your individual beardies preference. The furniture could also offer a view of something it does not like, perhaps into the enclosure of another Breaded Dragon that it finds intimidating. Put yourself in your beardie shoes to help it live a comfortable life.

Here’s a full guide that covers all the common reasons why your bearded dragon may not want to bask…

How Long Should A Bearded Dragon Bask For Before Taking A Break?

The length of time a Bearded Dragon will bask will depend on how much food it has eaten, the temperature of the basking spot, and the enclosure set-up. With a correct environment, your Bearded Dragon will self-regulate.

It isn’t uncommon for captive Bearded Dragons to spend almost all day basking. Often there is little for them to do when all their needs are met.

 If your basking spot is between 95°-100°F, your enclosure has a gradient including a cool spot and you follow a seasonal variation then you won’t need to worry about your beardie basking “too much”.

Provide the correct environment and your Bearded Dragon will manage itself.

Follow the below seasonal chart to determine how to vary your heat and light throughout the year.

Bearded Dragon Hours Of Heat & Light Required Daily

SeasonHours Of Heat & Light (Per Day)

How Long Can a Bearded Dragon Go Without A Basking Light?

Bearded Dragons should be provided with a basking light every day during daylight hours. They can go for short periods without basking – up to 24 hours if the ambient temperature does not drop below 65°F. Longer than this and some serious issues could arise.

If Bearded Dragons go for an extended period without basking then digestion and activity could become a very real issue.

How long your Bearded Dragon can safely go without basking can depend on how much it has recently eaten. 

If it has consumed a big meal and immediately its bulb is blown you should rectify the situation quickly.

If the time without a basking lamp is extended, do not feed your Bearded Dragon.

The longer the basking lamp is unavailable the more effects it may have. This is especially prevalent for baby beardies. 

Juveniles eat a lot and grow at incredible rates. Any extended period without basking could cause development issues that will extend into adulthood.

Do not compensate for the lack of basking temperature by rising the entire enclosure temperature to the basking range as they need to be able to cool down also.

How Many Hours A Day Do Bearded Dragons Bask?

How many hours a Bearded Dragon basks in a day depends on the level of food consumption and its activity levels. Hours of basking should change seasonally from 10-14 for a natural cycle. When inactive they may settle to rest most of the day in the basking spot.

Your Bearded Dragons basking activity depends on how much food it eats. If it eats a lot and eats often, then it will bask before and after eating and may spend the entire day basking. 

It also depends on the other activities of your beardie. If you regularly enrich your Bearded Dragon or it can socialize, then it may engage more in these activities, lowering its basking time.

When inactive, Bearded Dragons often chose to rest in their basking area because it is lovely and warm! So on an inactive day don’t panic if your beardie spends all day long basking.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Basking With His Eyes Closed?

It is normal behavior for Bearded Dragons to close their eyes while basking. They often close their eyes to protect themselves from the heat of the basking lamp or the UV rays from the UV lamp. It protects them from drying out or burning while basking.

Closing eyes is often misinterpreted by Bearded Dragon owners as happiness and contentment. Closing the eyes while interacting with other Bearded Dragons or their owners signifies discomfort and intimidation. 

Bearded Dragons will close their eyes to submit to others when in an uncomfortable position.

If there is another Bearded Dragon nearby or you stare directly at your beardie while it basks you may see it close its eyes in this situation.

If left to bask in peace, the closing of the eyes is simply to protect the sensitive retinas from the heat and the UV rays. 

Too much heat can dry them out and direct UV can cause thermal burns. Closing the eyes reduces this risk while still enjoying basking. They may even close just one eye if it is receiving direct light. 

Eye Bulging is another curious beardie behavior and you can find out why they do here…

Why Does My Bearded Dragon Open His Mouth While Basking?

Bearded Dragons open their mouths to help thermoregulate and cool themselves when they become too hot. This behavior is called “gaping” and is perfectly normal during basking behaviors. If this behavior continues outside of basking then it may indicate something else.

Bearded Dragons do not possess sweat glands as we do. So to cool down they gape their mouths open to let some of the heat inside out and lower their internal body temperature

When basking your Bearded Dragon will eventually reach optimal temperature and will gape to maintain this perfect temperature without cooling down as much as it would if it moved out of the basking spot.

Other reasons for gaping:

    • Stretching – when shedding, gaping helps stretch and loosen the skin around the head and beard
  • Aggression – open mouth and puffed beard is an intimidation tactic. This could be directed at you or another nearby animal or item.
  • Mouth infection – strange gaping behaviors could indicate pain and discomfort in the mouth.
  • Respiratory infection – gaping may occur in a Bearded Dragon that is struggling to breathe.

There is no need to stress if gaping occurs during basking, it is normal!

Do Bearded Dragons Sleep While Basking?

Bearded Dragons are diurnal – they are awake in the day and sleep at night and tend to get 8-12 hours of sleep. While they close their eyes they likely do not sleep while basking as basking places them in a vulnerable position and they will remain alert.

When your Bearded Dragon hangs out in the basking spot with its eyes closed it can be hard to tell if it is awake and alert and you may speculate whether it is asleep.

While it is almost impossible to tell if it is sleeping for certain, it is unlikely that a Bearded Dragon would sleep while basking.

Bearded Dragons in the wild are prey to other species. Basking in the sun puts them out in the open and at risk of being predated on. To remain safe they will stay awake while basking and be alert to noise and movement.

If a Bearded Dragon is sleeping while basking (again, very hard to tell!) then it may be due to:

  • A disrupted sleep causing it to have low energy – make sure their environment is dark, quiet, and cooler at night.
  • Preparing to brumate – excess sleeping may be confused with brumation in which your Bearded Dragon will slow right down to a hibernation-like state
  • Inadequate daytime light – if the enclosure is dark in the day then your beardie may be confused about when it is supposed to be sleeping. Ensure your basking lamp is white light-emitting.

Can Bearded Dragons Bask in The Sun?

In the wild Bearded Dragons will bask exclusively in the hot sun. For your pet dragon, you should provide an indoor basking area but can take it outside on sunny days so it can make the most of the natural rays and bask in the sun.

If it is a lovely sunny day with nice high temperatures you can take your Bearded Dragon to bask in the sun. 

If taking your Bearded Dragon outside for an adventure, make sure you monitor them consistently as they can quickly get themselves into trouble. You may even want to harness train them.

If uncertain if the temperatures are okay, use a digital thermometer to ensure the area you are taking them is neither too cool nor too hot.

Experience reptile keepers will tell you that it is common for reptiles to do a lot better when in outdoor enclosures, granted they are native to the area in which they are housed. 

This is due to the range of temperature, humidity and light being naturally and not manually controlled – no room for human error.

Some Bearded Dragons owners who live in environments that mirror the Australian desert keep Bearded Dragons in outdoor enclosures. This can just be just for the day or all around the clock.

If keeping your beardie in an outdoor enclosure to bask ensure the enclosure is not made of glass. 

Intense sunlight on the glass will heat up incredibly quick and high (think of a glass house!) and the temperature can reach fatal levels inside the enclosure. Also, UV does not transmit through glass.

Can Bearded Dragons Bask On A Hammock?

Reptile hammocks are a popular choice for Bearded Dragons to bask on. Hammocks aren’t a natural basking spot but many Bearded Dragons enjoy the height, safety and comfort of a hammock to bask on.

A wild Bearded Dragon will not find a lovely cozy hammock to rest in so providing your pet beardie a hammock makes them quite spoilt. 

A hammock is safe to use for basking as long as the temperature on the hammock is adequate for basking 95°-100°F.

If your beardie has never used a hammock, make sure this is not the only available basking spot as it may not like the hammock and as such won’t be able to bask properly.

Ensure your hammock is made out of natural fibers to reduce any risk of irritation of the skin. Natural jute/rope hammocks are favored because the rough surface is enjoyed by itching shedding beardies.

The downsides to a hammock include them being more difficult to clean than something such as a rock. 

Make sure you soak and disinfect regularly and leave to dry completely before returning to the enclosure as these materials can harbor hidden bacteria.

Here’s a great hammock that we highly recommend…

PENN-PLAX Reptology Lizard Lounger – 100% Natural Seagrass Fiber – Great for Bearded Dragons, Anoles, Geckos, and Other Reptiles – Extra Large
  • COMFORTABLE FOR ALL CLIMBERS: Our Lizard Loungers provide a safe, fun, and interactive space for your reptile to climb around on! These handwoven,...
  • VERSATILE AND ADJUSTABLE MOUNTING: The provided 2.5” suction cups easily attach to glass, plastic, and acrylic terrarium walls. For a strong bond,...

Last update on 2023-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Do Bearded Dragons Like To Bask On?

Bearded Dragons will bask anywhere that the temperature reaches the optimal basking zone (95°-100°F). They may bask on flat ground but often tend to favor using furnishings to raise themselves higher such as rock, logs, and hammocks.

In the wild Bearded Dragons will often utilize items around them to find open areas with full sunshine. They are often seen perching upon rocks, tree trunks, and fence poles.

Raising themselves from ground level also provides a sense of comfort as they can see further afar and react quickly to incoming predators.

For your pet beardie, you can emulate this behavior by providing rocks, logs, and hammocks. 

You can use a few different furnishing so that your Bearded Dragon has the option to chose its favored area. Agency of choice is great for providing positive welfare.

Bearded Dragons aren’t the most agile climbers so ensure the basking furnishing is simple and safe. Make sure there is not a place where they may get stuck or fall easily.

It is best to avoid heated rocks or heat mats as Bearded Dragons have fewer heat receptors on their bellies as they do on the dorsal side of their bodies and are at higher risk of overheating if the heat source is below them.

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